The decision was never really in doubt, but Ole Miss secured a 65-52 win over Seattle University on Tuesday night despite a late run by the Redhawks in the second half.
Breein Tyree scored 10 points for the Rebels on Tuesday night with K.J. Buffen’s 13. Khadim Sy had seven points along with six from Luis Rodriguez and Austin Crowley.
The Rebels again started slow offensively, and head coach Kermit Davis said struggles that have plagued his offense early in the season could cost them games down the stretch.
“I thought for about 29 minutes, our team tried to guard at a high level, and our shooting percentage was way low,” Davis said. “We’re still a work in progress offensively. We’re fixing to get hit right in the mouth by some athletes that are good or better than us in the next couple of weeks, so that’s got to improve.”
The Rebels’ win comes before a critical trip to Memphis on Saturday to take on the No. 16 Tigers. Penny Hardaway and the Tigers landed the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation for this season, highlighted by James Wiseman who is expected to be among the first taken off the board in the NBA draft. Wiseman, however, is not expected to play as he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA.
“No offense to the four teams we’ve played, it’s fixing to really change here in the next two weeks,” Davis said.
After the game, K.J. Buffen also sounded off on the struggles the Rebels have experienced on the offensive side of the ball.
“This is our first year all together as a new team, so I just feel like we’re getting better with that. We don’t completely know each other yet, so it’ll get better for sure.”
After the game was well in hand, the Rebels played numerous members of the bench, resulting in a run for the Redhawks to end the game. With 11:48 left in the second half, Seattle had 24 points, but they scored 28 over the remainder of the game.
According to Davis, the performance by some of his bench players solidified his opinion of them as not being key members of his rotation.
“The last eight minutes were about as embarrassed as I’ve been as a coach at Ole Miss,” Davis said. “Maybe some of those guys in the game at that time proved me right that where their role is where their role is. That’s ridiculous, ending the game on a [15-2] run.”
Help is on the way for the Rebels, however. According to Davis, Blake Hinson is expected to see his first action of the season on Saturday against Memphis after being cleared following a medical issue that kept him sidelined during the season’s first four games.
Buffen is looking forward to having his teammate back on the floor on Saturday and stated how the team feeds off his leadership.
“He’s our energy,” Buffen said. “That’s my guy. [Hinson brings] energy and confidence.”
Tip-off for the Rebels and Tigers is scheduled for noon on Saturday at the FedEx Forum. Following their bout with Memphis, Ole Miss will participate in the NIT Tip-Off beginning on Nov. 27.